On 2012’s In Our Heads, Hot Chip hit their stride in terms of lyrics that were as vulnerable and complex as they were accessible. The group’s sixth album sees them refining their fraught, existential balladry but dials back the multi-layered club beats in exchange for a live-band feel that trains a brighter spotlight on Alexis […]

There’s been lots of hand-wringing lately over whether the album is dead. The argument is that the format makes less and less sense in a changing world of algorithm-generated shuffle streams and 24-hour content cycles. The strongest rebuttal has been the work of multi-instrumental studio whiz kids (Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, etc), serial do-it-yourselfers with […]

System of a Down’s 1998 début was initially overlooked by the mainstream hard rock audience, as well as the specialized press. But heavy metal cognoscenti in both camps quickly realized that in their hands was a potentially crucial stepping stone for the future development of heavy metal. Sure enough, so challenging and groundbreaking were its […]

When they arrived in 2012, indie quartet Django Django offered a sound like no other, blending single-note surf/Western guitar lines with vaguely psychedelic-electro undercurrents and big, clamoring rhythmic stacks that fell somewhere between Devo and drum corps. On top of it all were their strict, vibrato-less vocals, often sung in unison before breaking apart into […]

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Written by Sam Humphries & Greg Pak Art by Marc Laming & Takeshi Miyagawa There are going to be a lot of Secret Wars books over the coming months, and to be honest I am excited for just about all of them. Planet Hulk was one that was high on my list of anticipated tie-ins […]

My Morning Jacket’s eclecticism has long been one of their strong suits, but their sonic wanderlust seems to fail them a bit on their seventh studio album, The Waterfall. Jim James and his bandmates have followed a lot of different stylistic paths since they made their debut at the end of the ’90s, and the […]

Torres takes a reflective turn on new album

Torres, aka Georgia-born Mackenzie Scott, first appeared in 2013 with the release of her self-titled début, Torres. She was a songwriter of the new school: one who cut her teeth in Nashville, studying songwriting in college, and filtered it through her raw, emotive voice that had so many drawing up all the right kind of […]

Going big is usually the stumbling block for any artist or band who started off small. Blowing up the arrangements, slicking up the production, or adding scores of extra instruments often does more harm than good, shining a harsh light on a lack of songwriting ideas or just making things seem so huge that the […]

Pithecanthropus Erectus was Charles Mingus’ breakthrough as a leader, the album where he established himself as a composer of boundless imagination and a fresh new voice that, despite his ambitiously modern concepts, was firmly grounded in jazz tradition. Mingus truly discovered himself after mastering the vocabularies of bop and swing, and with Pithecanthropus Erectus he […]

Like many country troubadours, Chris Stapleton cut his teeth as a songwriter in Nashville, churning out tunes that wound up hits in the hands of others. Kenny Chesney brought “Never Wanted Anything More” to number one and Darius Rucker had a hit with “Come Back Song,” but those associations suggest Stapleton would toe a mainstream […]

More than a few critics compared Metz to the Jesus Lizard upon the release of their first album in 2012, and not without reason, but while the Canadian band’s music does bear some small resemblance to the late, lamented Chicago outfit, their real similarity is not in their songs or style, but in the ferocity […]

Featuring all the excitement and groove of an early Madlib beat tape, Hud Dreems is the full-length instrumental début from experimental hip-hop producer Glenn Boothe, aka Knxwledge. The 2015 album was released during a banner year for the producer, as his work landed on Kendrick Lamar’s landmark album To Pimp a Butterfly, but with its […]

In true Ellis-ian fashion, the first issue of Injection doesn’t give away much, but what it does is pretty compelling stuff. Re-teaming with his Moon Knight cohorts Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, writer Warren Ellis débuts their new Image series with little pomp but with a whole heap of dry wit coupled with an intriguing […]

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